North Division Play Kicks Off With Four Games At Harvard

Allison Skinner (Steve Musco photo)
Allison Skinner (Steve Musco photo)

Crimson And Bulldogs Meet In Back-To-Back Doubleheaders Saturday & Sunday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – None of the four teams in the Ivy League North Division managed to seize control during eight games against the South Division. Only two games separate the first-place team from fourth place. That just adds to the importance of inter-division play that starts this weekend. Yale will travel to Harvard for back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday against the Crimson. The first pitch on both days is slated for 12:30 p.m. and the Ivy League Digital Network has the video.

Here are notes to preview the series:

IVY STANDINGS: Dartmouth swept four games at home last weekend to move into first place in the North Division with a 5-3 mark. Yale is one game behind at 4-4, while Harvard and Brown are each 3-5. Princeton leads the South Division at 6-2, while Penn and Columbia are each 5-3.

OFFENSE ALIVE: The Bulldogs have been red hot at the plate. Yale has at least 10 hits in three of its last four games and has scored 37 runs during that stretch. The Bulldogs have hit at least one home run in three of their last five games and had five doubles in Wednesday's 12-11 victory over Quinnipiac.

STREAKS: Yale has three players working on modest hitting streaks. Allison Skinner has at least one hit in six consecutive games. She didn't start Wednesday's game so it took a pinch-hit single to extend the streak. She is batting .529 during the stretch. Shelby Kennedy has a five-game hitting streak during which she is batting .533 (8-of-15). Francesca Casalino has a hit in four straight games and is batting .615 during the streak with one home run.

CLOSE GAMES: Wednesday's 12-11 victory over Quinnipiac was the latest in what has been a season full of close games for Yale. The Bulldogs have played 13 games decided by one run.

MISC: Yale has outscored its opponents 20-15 in the first inning this season. The Bulldogs most productive inning has been the fifth when they have scored 26 runs. The 12 runs Yale scored vs. Quinnipiac were the most in a game by the Bulldogs since a 12-2 win at Brown in 2013.

HISTORY LESSONS: Harvard won three of four games at DeWitt Family Field last year. Three of the four were nail biters. The Crimson scored two runs in the eighth inning to win the opening game of the series 2-0. Harvard then rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win Game 2 5-4. Lindsay Efflandt pitched a six-hit shutout in a 1-0 Yale victory in Game 3. Yale hasn't swept a doubleheader from the Crimson since 2009.

SCOUTING HARVARD: The Crimson (12-14) feature the Ivy League's leading hitter in sophomore Rhianna Rich, who is batting .444. Erin Lockhart leads the team with four home runs and 17 RBI. Kathleen Duncan (71.1 innings, 3.53 ERA) and Taylor Cabe (60.1, 3.60) have seen a majority of the action in the circle for Harvard.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity